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To let my baby catch chicken pox?

(208 Posts)
Rumplestrumpet Fri 18-Dec-15 19:48:09

In brief, my husband, baby and me are due to go away for 3 days with another family next week. They're a lovely couple though, tbh, our husbands have nothing in common, so it's really just us wives pushing it. She told me yesterday that her son has come down with chicken pox. Our baby is almost 6 months old and has never had it, though DH and I have.

I spoke to my HV today and she was very relaxed about it - they have to get it at some point, at least now you're on mat leave so won't have to take time off to look after her. She is exclusively breast fed so you can comfort her with the breast - it's your call.

DH would happily ditch the whole thing, but I feel like I still want to go... But then I will feel terribly if baby catches it and is in a lot of pain....

Anyone had a small baby with chicken pox? Is it really awful? ie worse than when they're older?

Welcome advice please!

Caprinihahahaha Fri 18-Dec-15 19:49:15

My son had it at about 10 months. It was awful.

MysteriousSummer Fri 18-Dec-15 19:50:29

I wouldn't risk it personally.

Believeitornot Fri 18-Dec-15 19:50:42


Why go out of your way to put a child through it?

My two got it at 1 and 3. Was horrible for them.

TheEagle Fri 18-Dec-15 19:51:53

Personally I wouldn't and I think that's poor advice from your HV - you've no idea how ill your baby might be if they catch chicken pox.

They can get sores in their mouths that can put them off BFing.

Their immune systems can be suppressed by the disease - and I wouldn't fancy an immuno suppressed 6 mo in the middle of winter.

Your call but I wouldn't chance it with my 8 mo DTs.

alltheworld Fri 18-Dec-15 19:52:00

If I remember rightly there was another mumsnetter called clutching at pearls whose young dc had very bad side effects from chicken pox. My doc are vaccinated against it.

JarethTheGoblinKing Fri 18-Dec-15 19:52:18

DS got it at 8mo and was totally miserable, clingy and just cried. He had a fairly mild case of it as well.

SisterMoonshine Fri 18-Dec-15 19:52:28

Is it true that if they get it before they're about a year old, then they can get it again.
So what your HV is saying doesn't actually mean anything.

DidgeDoolittle Fri 18-Dec-15 19:52:57

Not a chance. My youngest got it when he was 12 months. It was a nightmare. He screamed constantly for about four days. Don't put your baby or yourself through it.

ScarlettDarling Fri 18-Dec-15 19:53:03

My dd had it when she was 6 months. Everyone told me she'd only get a few spots but she was covered in them. Having said that, she was fine with them. She had a bit of a temp but nothing worrying.

I don't think I'd expose a little one to chicken pox on purpose though. It can be nasty and can make some children thoroughly miserable. You would feel awful if your little one was really ill and you'd exposed her on purpose.

If it were me I'd cancel and rearrange for some time in the new year.

aurorie11 Fri 18-Dec-15 19:53:51

I think its really random how an individual child reacts to chicken pox. My youngest had it at 25 weeks, caught it off older sibling. Oldest got it v mildly about 20 spots, youngest was covered but was still happy and smiley (although it did delay start of weaning). Lots of aquaeous calamine and oat bath helped, from memory you are limited on what medicines you can give. It also had the benefit that I could look after both of them whilst on maternity leave. Having said all this someone I know their eldest had it young (but I think 12 months +) and they were hospitalised with it. Good luck with whatever you do

CwtchMeQuick Fri 18-Dec-15 19:54:03

My DS was really quite poorly with chicken pox at almost 3, so I wouldn't chance it with a baby and if I have another I'll definitely look into vaccinating.
Your call obviously, but for me it'd be a no

ScarlettDarling Fri 18-Dec-15 19:54:52

Although there's a good chance your friend's ds won't be contagious next week anyway. Once the spots have crusted over they are fine, it usually takes a week in my experience.

MumCodes Fri 18-Dec-15 19:56:47

Not sure about whether to expose your baby to it (my sons had it at 3y and 3m, both fine), but if you're going away next week they're a chance their son won't be infectious any more. They're most infectious a day before the spots appear, and stop being infectious once they scab over, so you could be worrying over nothing.

Lindy2 Fri 18-Dec-15 19:57:04

After a friend's baby nearly died from chicken pox earlier this year, I have paid £100 to have my 4 year old vaccinated. My older child has already had it and wasn't too bad at all but it wasn't a risk we were prepared to take after hearing about our friend's child.

MumCodes Fri 18-Dec-15 19:57:27

X post with Scarlett.

Onynx Fri 18-Dec-15 19:58:08

Please do NOT do this to your baby- it can be awful enough if it's caught unawares, by accident but I wouldn't knowingly expose any age child to it. I know some children escape with a very mild dose - but our DS ended up in isolation in ICU on morphine plus other meds as a result. Luckily he recovered but it was a very scary time for all of us. It is no longer contagious once the spots have crusted over though - so perhaps you can still go?

Sirzy Fri 18-Dec-15 19:58:25

How would you feel if she got a very bad case of it and ended up in hospital over Christmas knowing you made the choice to expose her?

Personally I think you would be mad to do it.

LumpySpaceCow Fri 18-Dec-15 19:59:15

By next week, if the other child's chicken pox have scanned over then the child wouldn't be contagious. So you may not actually be risking anything. I wouldn't interact before then though.
From NHS choices:
Someone with chickenpox is most infectious from one to two days before the rash appears, until all the blisters have crusted over. This usually takes five to six days from the start of the rash.

Canyouforgiveher Fri 18-Dec-15 19:59:19

My son had it at 6 months. not a particularly bad dose but it was still awful -crying, miserable, and we were stuck inside while he was infections (which your friend's son will be too so not sure how much you can do with them if you do go away)

At about the age of 13, my son got shingles - because he had had chicken pox.

My daughters were vaccinated.

lucy101101 Fri 18-Dec-15 20:00:01

My child was very ill with it indeed, screaming through the night, all night for two weeks. Other children end up in hospital with very serious, life changing, complications. My son was 2 and the thought of inflicting that on a baby is shocking. I think it would be highly irresponsible to go. In fact I can't even believe you are posting....

lucy101101 Fri 18-Dec-15 20:00:35

I am also going to vaccinate my younger child.

PinotAndPlaydough Fri 18-Dec-15 20:00:59

I wouldn't purposely expose my children. Chicken pox can be really nasty, my niece ended up having to have fluids because she had them in her mouth and it was so sore she couldn't/wouldn't eat or drink.

MontyYouTerribleCunt Fri 18-Dec-15 20:01:34

sister I was about to say that a friend's DD had chicken pox as a baby and then caught it again recently (she is now 6). Her mum is a nurse and she said they can get it twice.

Gunpowder Fri 18-Dec-15 20:08:16

Geez I don't think it's fair to have a go at OP for posting a question like this! Her HV gave her the go ahead so if anything she's being responsible asking for the wisdom of crowds, as it were.

Personally, I wouldn't knowingly expose my baby to it as (as previously mentioned) apparently if they get it at > 12 months they can get it twice; and an ill baby is more scary than an ill child (to me) as they can't be so easily reassured/can deteriorate more rapidly. Hopefully friends child's spots will have scanned over.

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